DIARY - Barbados to St Vincent & The Grenadines (Bequia, Tobago Cays, Mayreau, Union Island)
Sun 27 Jan 2019 16:16
Bajans, as the people of Barbados are known, are the friendliest folk, loving the banter between each other, and very authentic with us "tourists", right from the start. We anchored in Port St Charles, just out from the posh marina there. Beautiful turquoise sea...so refreshing for taking a dip. Speightstown is the nearest town, about half a mile away, home to great "Creole" food, refreshing Banks beer and Mount Gay rum. We spent a very pleasant week here, swimming off the boat in 25 degrees C sea-water,
and on the beautiful beaches ashore near the anchorage. We'd a great day-trip around the island with Mario, over to the East (Atlantic) coast which is much wilder and more beautiful in some ways. Mario dropped us in Oistins for the Friday night "jump-up".
Saturday 5th January was provisioning day, and we set sail around 5pm with Lluc and Max back on board (yeah!) for our overnight to Bequia in St Vincent & The Grenadines.
111 very pleasant nautical miles later, at 12:45pm, we set anchor in Bequia, in Port Elizabeth, a very beautiful, picturesque, sheltered bay, with two beautiful beaches - Princess Margaret beach and Lower Bay beach, and Belmont walkway along the shore, with great restaurants, and chilled-out vibe, especially in our favourite beach-bar, Lennox's Lion's Den. We said a sad farewell to Eithne, who had been with us for a great 10 days or so since Barbados...she caught a ferry to St Vincent for a flight to Barbados, and onwards from there to home. Lluc and Max also left us, sailing to Martinique on Bernard's "Echo".
We spent a very pleasant two weeks in Bequia, walking up to the fort over Admiralty Bay, exploring La Pompe, meeting Mike Goddard and partner, potter and decorator extraordinaire in their Cinnamon Pottery, drinking sun-downers at Lennox's, meeting Sally and Anthony on their Rival 41, "Fortino", meeting Irish single-hander Alan on his Hallberg-Rassy, "Esperanza", and briefly saying hello to Irish couple Mary and George Coombes on their Lagoon catamaran on which they are circumnavigating (we missed them subsequently in St Lucia when they came in to Rodney Bay marina briefly to clear out ...maybe our paths will cross again).
Our last night in Bequia, we had the incredible experience of the blood-wolf moon, and the lunar eclipse was in full swing at 1.30am.
Next sail was South to Tobago Cays on Monday 21st January, anchoring there at around 15.30pm. What a beautiful place...we anchored east of Jamesby, one of the little islands there, and had BBQ that night on shore on Petit Rameau, leaving the dinghy on the beach of the channel between it and Petit Bateau. Next morning, we took the dinghy to Baradel via the reef. The sea-water is pure turquoise; this area is a national park and is famous for its turtles, which peep their heads up quite often, especially where we anchored...they are very shy! Petit Tabac is a the other side of the reef, famous as a film location for "Pirates of the Caribbean". Canouan island is north of us, and Mustique (famous person's playground -private island to our North East. It is an incredibly beautiful place; the near-full blood-red wolf-moon-rise was spectacular.
After many swims and snorkels later that day, we hiked the hill on Petit Bateau, and bumped into an Irish couple, Tracy and Tom Shine from Cahir, who know Helen's cousin Margaret, married to John Quirke, and knew her Uncle David very well too...small world eh. Tom told us the story of how his father, a farmer, approached David, a creamery manager with the idea of introducing bulk-tank collection of milk...the future unfolding eh!
Later that day, Eddie English of Cork Sail came by and invited us for sun-downers on their yacht...a charter with 9 Irish crew, spending 10 days in the Caribbean...what a great holiday for them, and a great bunch of people. We really enjoyed meeting them...thank-you to Eddie and Jo for their hospitality, and to Tracy for her gift of home-made Christmas cake which was so welcome and so tasty.
Next day, Wednesday 23rd January, we left beautiful Tobago Cays for the "long" voyage across to Mayreau, all of 4 miles. Lot of work for the shortest distance travelled! Once anchored, we walked up the hill to Righteous Roberts...intriguing place, with patios, posters and drumming/singing from the man himself....a very welcoming guy, philosophising about family, life and of course Bob Marley. We explored Mayreau the following day; its all of 1.5 square miles in area. We walked "the road" over to Saltwhistle Bay, a beautiful resort-type anchorage, more suited to catamarans. Made friends with Arthur, a character with an Air B&B work-in-progress. For an island that has so little, the people are really trying to make a living by providing for the tourists...all sailors, since it doesn't have an air-strip.
Friday 25th January, we crossed from Mayreau to Union Island, all of 3.5 nautical miles of a journey, and moored at the harbour there. Its all of 10.5 square miles, but does have an airport, and the main town, Clifton is great, with lots of restaurants and shops, and a drop-in yoga class for Helen! Lovely people, including Harman who helped us find what we needed. Got ready for our over-nighter to St Lucia / Rodney Bay, and said farewell to St Vincent and The Grenadines at around 4.30pm on 27th January.